Judgement Day Feb 4, 2020
7.00am: Barnaby wants another go at being Deputy PM. He remembers the big pay packet. He is struggling, supporting two families. He remembers the look of sadness in their eyes, the last time they turfed him out (The Nationals, not either of his families. I didn’t mean them). He wants something better than weatherboard and iron.
The day also marks the opening of the Parliamentary Year, and the Parliament will pass a Motion of Condolence for those who have lost their lives in the recent bush-fires, and to honour those involved in fire-fighting efforts. The Nationals will have their moment in the idiot spotlight, no matter what.
7.22am: National Party members think about Barnaby leading them again. Many are in tears, some are too scared to cry. Many Liberals are numb, bereft, their eyes are tired, they are too drained to feel.
9.00am: The vote is held and the impossible happens. God has intervened, Barnaby remains in the wilderness. Mr Morrison leads a united party room prayer. He takes the opportunity to remind the troops that the world is watching them, so SAY NOTHING STUPID.
It appears that the team can hold the line. Craig Kelly is being detained in solitary, and Barnaby is consoling himself by cursing the heavens. Peter Dutton is lazily torturing asylum seekers, and dreaming of what might have been. The Prime Minister takes a private moment, sobbing like a baby. Bridget sits alone, wondering how it all went so horribly wrong. No point in moping – she might as well go out and shoot something. It seems to relax her.
1.10pm: I am sorry, Michael McCormack, the winner of this morning’s poll, has just told us that this summer’s bush-fires were not unprecedented, we have always had bush-fires, many just like this year’s. Can this signal the end of peace, as we know it?
Mr Morrison will now have to re-frame his arguments. No more can he ‘accept the science’, where he connects Climate Change with the fires (a tiny bit). It’s take a step, move back to the right. There is NO connection between the two. Thank God for this Government. There is no other like it, in all the world!
Judgement Day is now but a distant memory.
Barnaby is now full of goodwill. It is just that he doesn’t like the way Michael McCormack speaks. He is clearly (from Latin clarus; clear or loud) not a Latin scholar, as Barnaby so clearly is. “I have disdain when the term ‘learnings’ is used. Leaning is a verb, knowledge is a noun and ‘learnings’ is nonsense.” Barnaby went to the same school that Tony Abbott did, so you can see the quality of the ‘old boys’. Asked later if he had really studied Latin at school, he replied in Latin. He then was kind enough to tell the reporter, “you don’t have to speak Latin but English helps.” Those Jesuits really know how to teach a guy, don’t they.
What is next for the Nats?
Stay tuned for exciting developments in this unfolding yarn. I’m just going out to get a new piece of straw to chew on … Well, let’s recap. We have Llew O’Brien being the bomb-thrower on Judgement Day, by calling the spill motion, which caused the emotional turmoil within the group, indeed throughout the Government. Llew made the call because he wants Barnaby back in the big chair, mainly because he is more aggressive than Michael McCormack.
I question his strategic nous however, as very soon after Barnaby lost the vote for leader, Llew left the party, which means that when they have another leadership ballot, which seems inevitable, he WON’T have a vote, because he has resigned from the party. A bit of an own goal, really.
Matt Canavan is a true coal warrior. His brother runs an energy company, so he is never lonely. He is also the person who, when questioned about his possible Italian citizenship in 2017, did a Warnie, and blamed his mum. I know, it sounds like a television skit, but this is all true. Anyway, he resigned from Cabinet so that he could support Barnaby. He had also failed to list one of his houses in his register of interests, so maybe he was just giving himself a bit more time in which to fill in paperwork. He used to be Barnaby’s Chief of Staff, which must have made for a fun office. I wonder if they burned briquettes during winter.
Anyway, in the great tradition of the bush, he and Barnaby are now producing a podcast, called Weatherboard and Iron, which presumably describes their humble little houses. Or is it meant to show empathy with owners, or even renters, of such houses, or just because it is a catchy name which shows their humble roots? And now that they are on a backbencher’s wage, every cent helps.
Michael McCormack appeared on Insiders last week. He could not explain why a rural grants program delivered 90% of the cash to urban seats, and only 10% to the bush. He was the minister in charge of the grant program. Maybe that is why Barnaby and Matt think they could do better. I think that a week is a long time in politics, but in the case of the Nats, it is an eternity.
Stay tuned for more fascinating insights into how our system of parliamentary democracy works.